While Americans are well educated on the benefits of recycling bottles, cans and paper, the same can’t be said of electronic devices. The proliferation of new cell phones and tablets has led to a growing glut of “e-waste” piling up in people’s homes, as well as a lack of understanding about what to do with broken, unwanted or outdated devices.
According to a new survey released by ecoATM, (www.ecoatm.com), the nationwide network of automated electronics recycling kiosks, 57% of American device owners have idle cell phones in their homes, yet only 22%t state they have previously recycled cell phones they no longer use.
“Electronic waste is the fastest growing segment of our waste stream, and it’s a problem that’s only getting worse as more and more new phones and tablets are coming to market each year,” says Mark Bowles, founder and Chief Marketing Officer of ecoATM. “Consumers are looking for easy and convenient ways to recycle or sell their unwanted devices, and we must continue to shift behavior when it comes to the responsible disposal of electronics that are no longer being used.”
Highlights of ecoATM’s consumer survey include:
° Nearly four in ten device owners (39%) have at least two cell phones, if not more, collecting dust at home, yet less than half have sold, recycled or given their old smartphones to someone else after using it (49%).
° Less than half of device owners would consider recycling old gadgets (46%) even though most believe that recycling is good for the environment (86%), safe (80%) and worth doing (77%).
When upgrading a device, 12% of device owners would consider throwing their old gadget away in the garbage and nearly one in three (30 percent) would just store it somewhere in their homes.
Just over half of device owners know that it’s possible to recycle unwanted devices in drop-off bins inside cell phone provider stores (56 percent) or online trade-in programs (55%), while 20% know that automated recycling kiosks exist. That said, more than one in ten (12%) incorrectly believe that placing old devices in any recycling bin (such as a curbside bin) could be a viable option.